How to Turn Off Electrical Power

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If you're replacing a light fixture or doing other electrical work on a circuit, or if an outlet is sparking or otherwise seems dangerous, turn off the power to that area of the house for safety.

Things You'll Need

  • Spare Fuses
  • Find your circuit breaker box or fuse box.

  • Open the box's cover and locate the breaker or fuse on the circuit you want to kill power to. (Circuit breakers are small, usually horizontal switches.)

  • Make sure breakers and fuses are labeled with the area of the house they serve - for example, "kitchen," "bathroom" and so on. If they aren't labeled, identify the proper circuit by turning the breakers off or removing the fuses one at a time and checking to see which lights or plugs have lost power.

  • Flip the circuit breaker from "on" to "off" or remove the fuse.

  • Turn the electricity back on after you've finished working on the circuit by reversing this process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Replace blown fuses with new ones of the same amperage.
  • To turn off power to the entire house, open the breaker box and look for the main breaker or fuse, which will usually be at the top of the box. This will be a larger breaker or fuse (with a higher amperage) than the ones protecting the branch circuits.
  • When turning off breakers or removing fuses, use only one hand and keep the rest of your body and face turned away from the box. Keep your body away from the front of the box. This reduces the risk of injury if a breaker explodes.
  • Working with electrical systems is potentially dangerous. If you're unsure of your abilities or about any aspect of the project, call an electrician.

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